I first met Karen Tyrrell during her book launch for Bailey Beats the Blah at my local library. Soon after I was thrilled to meet Karen again at Write Links, the Brisbane Children's Writers group.
I soon realized that here is a powerhouse in children's writing when it comes to stories with a mental health message.
Karen is a passionate mental health advocate and her stories have received strong support and recognition from schools and mental health professionals.
Karen works tirelessly and is a frequent speaker on the subjects of writing and building an author platform.
It has been wonderful having Karen as part of our group through her encouragement and support of other writers and in sharing information and her experiences.
Without further ado, I would like to present Karen's latest book, a Junior Novel, STOP the Bully:
SYNOPSIS: Eleven year old Brian is hiding something. His life is falling apart. Dad abandoned the family. Brian hates his new school. And now an aggressive bully attacks him every day. Can Brian STOP the Bully without revealing his shameful secret?
STOP the Bully is a riveting junior novel to empower girls and boys with assertive strategies. The mystery reveals the bullying dilemma from all perspectives.
STOP the Bully raises big issues: bullying, family break-ups, poverty, self-esteem, coping with change, friendship, forgiveness and reconciliation.
5% sales go to Kids Helpline to help Kids in Crisis, STOP the Bully is now available from Amazon.
How to Write a Junior Novel with Karen Tyrrell:
How did STOP the Bully develop?
First I pictured the ending with a twist, and then I wrote the story “backwards.”
I created STOP the Bully as a fast paced mystery incorporating positive messages and offering bullying solutions.
How did you know STOP the Bully was ready to publish?
When I could improve STOP the Bully no more, I sent it out to five Beta readers for critique. I listened to their feedback and suggestion continually upgrading and improving my story. I changed some of the action, dialogue, prose and even character’s descriptions until STOP the Bully became a much stronger version than the original idea.
Why did you publish STOP the Bully?
My dream was to create a junior novel to empower children to overcome bullying and become more resilient in future episodes. Prevention is FAR better than cure.
I wanted to empower children with anti-bullying strategies and boost their self-esteem at the same time be entertaining.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to publish their children’s book?
A. Immerse yourself into the genre of children’s chapter and junior books. Practice writing techniques such as dialogue, setting, character development, creating a character the reader can empathize with while crafting a strong story arc.
B. Create a junior novel on a theme you’re passionate about. Your energy will shine through in your writing.
C. Send out your to junior novel to experienced Beta readers for critique and advice.
D. Develop your junior novel over time by rewriting, redrafting and perfecting.
E. Contract the very best editor, illustrator, cover designer and formatter you can find to create a professional child-centred junior novel appealing to kids, parents and teachers alike.
STOP the Bully is aligned with Kids Matter, national education curriculum and supported by Kids Helpline.
ISBN: 9780987274069 Available on Amazon and independent bookshops (such as Black Cat Books in Paddington, Brisbane).
Download FREE children's activities and FREE teacher notes from www.karentyrrell.com
STOP the Bully Blog Tour & Book Give Away
WIN: Signed copies and eBooks of STOP the Bully.
Leave a comment on any of the 15 hops June 2- 11
The MORE comments you leave the MORE chances you WIN.
WINNERS announced on June 16 http:// www.karentyrrell.com
Blog Tour June 2-11
2 June STOP the Bully Release Party & Reviews http:// www.karentyrrell.com
Sally Odgers Interview http://spinningpearls.blogspot.com.au
3 June Jill Smith Review http://authorjillsmith.wordpress.com
Charmaine Clancy Interview http://clancytales.blogspot.com.au
4 June Sally Murphy QUICK Questions http://aussiereviews.com/2014/06/karen-tyrell-blog-tour
5 June Melissa Wray Interview http://www.melissawray.blogspot.com.au
Yvonne Mes Interview http://www.yvonnemes.com
6 June Ali Stegert Interview http://ali-stegert.com
7 June Kids Book Review CURLY Questions http://www.kids-bookreview.com
9 June Bug in a Book Review http://buginabook.org/category/childrens-books
Jackie Hosking Interview http://jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com/school-magazine
10 June June Perkins Interview http://pearlz.wordpress.com
Robyn Parnell Interview http://www.robynopie.blogspot.com.au
11 June Nicky Johnson Review http://www.nickyjohnston.com.au/blog
Literati Radio Interview 9am AEST http://www.blogtalkradio.com/laliteraticarpelibrum
Karen Tyrrell is an award-winning Australian author and teacher. Karen presents interactive story telling sessions, creative writing workshops, seminars and author talks in schools, libraries, festivals and confer-ences. She speaks out on TV, radio and writes for magazines.
Bailey Beats the Blah (2013) empowers children with resilience skills. STOP the Bully (2014) junior novel empowers children with assertive anti-bullying strategies.
STOP the Bully is now available from Amazon.
This is the second year I am taking part in Susanna Leonard Hill's Holiday Writing Contest.
Not only does Susanna gather round a lovely community of children's writers to share their stories, she also gives out some pretty awesome prizes.
For this story, which had to be under 350 words, I have done something I have never done before. I wrote a poem.
The Contest: Write a children's story about a Holiday Mishap, mix-up, miscommunication, mistake, or potential disaster. Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 350 words not counting the title.
by Yvonne Mes
The train runs round and round the track.
The track runs round the tree.
The Angel watches from above
and under it lurks me.
Forget the gifts, I just don’t care.
And Santa Clause can scoot.
An Angel is just heavenly
and celestial to boot.
I want to comb her golden hair.
I need to touch her wings.
I long to pry her slippers off
and take her sparkly rings.
Her Halo dangling from my ear
will make me look a peach.
Her dress would fit my baby doll,
if only I could reach.
I hear the train a-chug-a-chug
go once more round the bend.
‘I know!’ I screech. ‘The train, the train!’
‘Last stop is tree top’s end.’
I ride the train on tinsel track
and whoosh past stars and bells.
The baubels are a coloured blur.
‘Beware’ the Angel yells.
The Angel waves to welcome me.
Or is that flap a ‘shoo’?
I reach for her, she leans right back
I swipe and grab her shoe.
What’s wrong with her why won’t she play
a game of mirth and glee?
I think of times in years gone by
she’s watched out over me.
“Vamoose, thy goose-brained fool”, she screams
and kicks me in the face!
I leap onto a branch and duck
but don’t give up the chase.
The tree now sways from side to side
then with a thud it falls.
It gleams, it glints, it all comes down,
The stars, the bells, the balls.
The train derailed from tinsel track.
The tracks stuck through the tree.
The Angels frowns from underneath
and sprawled across lies me.
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Children's Writer and Illustrator